“WRITE AMAZING CONTENT!” – Almost every blog post about link building has some version of this sentence in it.
It’s like they were all written by the same mad man who carries a bible-like SEO book around and screams random search engine optimization tips at people who walk by him on the street.
According to these blog posts, content is the essence of every decent link building stew.
“Ingrédient secrète”, as the French would say.
You just cannot avoid it.
I mean, you technically can – but it won’t end well for you.
If you try to ignore it, your dish will most likely taste like dirt. It will give people that awful aftertaste which will almost immediately make them resent your “cooking”.
Content gives your link building efforts that necessary kick. A pinch of magic, so to say.
It makes everything a lot easier to swallow.
HubSpot claims that 82% of marketers who blog on a regular basis see positive ROI from their inbound marketing.
According to these guys, B2C companies that have published more than 11 blog posts per month have had more than 4X as many leads than companies that blog only 4-5 times per month.
The people at Social Media Examiner have underlined these claims. Their independent research has shown that 81% of marketers now plan to increase their use of original written content.
Judging by everything written above, we can confidently say that producing content on a regular basis works wonders for your brand and business online. As Joe Pulizzi of CMI recently said in an interview for CMO: “A content-first business is the future of marketing.”
Creating Valuable Content is No Walk in the Park
Regardless of the niche or industry, 9 out of 10 digital marketing experts will tell you that you need to hop on that content train ASAP, if you’re interested in creating high-quality backlinks for your website.
“If you write and publish great posts on your blog, people will be naturally drawn to them.” – experts say.
“You should focus all your time and energy on creating amazing content that actually touches upon your desired audience’s pain points and solves real problems for them. If you manage to produce such material, people will be drawn to naturally link back to your site and reward you for your efforts and expertise.”
Sounds easy, right?
Even though, in theory, all of this feels pretty straightforward, in practice it’s a whole different story. Back in 2015, Steve Rayson and his BuzzSumo crew analyzed over a million randomly selected blog posts and found that a staggering 70% of them were never linked to.
The worst thing about this research is that the final results don’t really surprise me at all.
If you have ever tried to create a piece of content that has the potential to organically earn you a ton of links, you probably know that this sort of thing ain’t no walk in the park. Regardless of the subject, the competition is ALWAYS fierce.
Believe it or not, over 2 million blog posts get published every day. Ridiculous, right? And that’s just blog posts. What about all the other types of content, like infographics, whitepapers, case studies, webinars, etc?
Naturally, this type of content overkill has the ability to overwhelm people. Everyone is writing about everything all the time, and people are starting to suffer from a so-called “content shock”.
In 2017, the chances of finding a relevant subject that hasn’t already been covered on dozens of popular websites are slimmer than ever.
However, even though this may be true, that still doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create a bundle of links for your site with a single piece of content. All you have to do is follow my recipe:
1. Chase Authoritative Content that Answers Popular Questions
Creating content that generates both numerous shares and links is truly something special. This type of material has the power to significantly improve your website traffic and thus, help you generate tons of new leads and sales, so it kinda goes without saying that producing such a thing is basically the same as digging a tunnel with a tea spoon.
But it’s worth it.
Even though you really need to put your back into it, the end results are always satisfying.
At least in my experience.
As I have already mentioned in the sub-headline above, one of the most powerful types of content when it comes to generating backlinks is definitely one that provides answers for core questions. For example: “What is link building?”; “The ultimate guide to link building”; “Link building bible”, etc.
This is where power words such as “ultimate”, “amazing”, “exclusive”, “complete”, “best”, “proven”, “latest”, “extraordinary”, “inspiring”, “sensational” and “remarkable” come to shine.
This specific type of content is more likely to attract both links and shares because the headline alone promises everyone who clicks on it a detailed introduction to a subject that’s important for the user.
For example, a few weeks ago, I created this 10,000 word post: “Every Damn Thing You Need to Know About Backlinks”. Apart from putting all my knowledge about backlinks into one place and sharing it with the world, one of the reasons behind designing such a specific type of content was to put this above mentioned theory to the test.
And you know what? – It worked.
“Every Damn Thing You Need to Know About Backlinks” has generated 5X more traffic than our regular blog posts do.
Even though a lot of people have written about backlinks on their websites, none of them have gone the extra mile to create a piece that LITERALLY puts all the information under one roof. The key to creating powerful content that has the ability to generate links like crazy is to produce something that instantly reflects quality.
That’s why you should be tactical with your content. As I have said numerous times, the best way to win big in this particular field is to find posts that are currently performing well for your targeted keywords, analyze them, and do your best to produce 10X better content.
Don’t be afraid to overdeliver in your content. If you have something to offer to your readers – go for it! Don’t hold back. It doesn’t really matter if you’re creating content for an SEO agency, a startup, a small arts and crafts shop, or something completely different – your extra effort will always be acknowledged and rewarded by your audience.
If you posses the necessary know-how, you won’t have to reinvent the next wheel in order to beat a particular post that’s currently ranking high for your desired keywords. All you really have to do is to acknowledge all the gaps and work them to your advantage. There are dozens of different ways you can beat a particular post at its own game. Invest in better design, create a more powerful story around the subject, add more examples, transform it into a different format, etc.
Remember – the key isn’t to just stuff everything you know about a particular subject into a single blog post. No way. Your goal is to produce a piece of content that keeps giving more and more while you keep scrolling down.
2. The Persona + Use Case Formula
This strategy is especially great for those who are marketing a specific tool or service. Regardless of who you are and what you do – you’ll always have to start from the ground up. It doesn’t really matter if you already have a big network or other successful ventures – you’ll still need to create leads for your new business.
You cannot really sell everything to everyone. If you want to make your new venture independent, you’ll need to find a way to communicate its worth to the people who actually have the potential to become your customers.
How does one accomplish such a thing? – Easily, by producing content that explains the right people how to get the most out of your products and services.
Here’s the thing – people LOVE tools. Myself included. I love tools so much that I focus all my time and energy on creating more of them. After completing Reportz, I’m moving to the next thing on my list. That’s why Product Hunt is such a popular site. But, interest is not enough. If you want to stimulate people to stick with your tool, you need to prove that your solution really works. You need to demonstrate with a real, precise example how they can achieve success via your software or service. Evernote does a great job here. Ahrefs also. This particular type of content is extremely relevant for a specific type of user, and that’s why it always generates a ton of links.
3. Content that Provides Original Research Results
Data is power. Nothing generates links faster than a compelling research report.
As you already know – in 2017, data plays a significant role in your overall marketing success.
Especially in content marketing.
It’s the backbone of almost every popular B2B piece of content.
Including this one.
If you scroll up, you’ll see that I basically built this post around a couple of interesting studies. Data helps people come up with amazing insight that speaks volumes to their readers.
Lots of B2B brands conduct their own original research. For example, HubSpot. Even though this popular site frequently publishes practical “how to” content, from time to time – they go all out and publish their ultimate list of marketing statistics. Naturally, this sort of compelling report significantly outperforms their other content, when it comes to links.
This sort of thing goes beyond B2B. You can use numbers to your advantage in almost every industry. Yes, even in porn. Just look at PornHub. We wrote a separate article on how this brand dominates with their online marketing .
Even though PornHub knows that a lot of people don’t really care about their company or what it stands for, they still know how to use their statistics to their advantage. In order to reach out to audiences all over the world, PornHub creates all sorts of different interesting and entertaining data that often gets picked up by major publications. Their carefully segmented and researched numbers have earned them links from all sorts of relevant websites, like The Daily Bot, Mashable and Gizmodo.
Take a page out HubSpot’s and PornHub’s playbooks – invest in original research. It will surely reach a much greater number of links than any other type of content.
4. Content that Empowers Trending Topics with Intelligent Insights
In marketing, timing is everything. That’s why it’s necessary to keep an eye on trends, analyze what’s currently generating a lot of buzz, and where and how you can board that hype train. Even though trending topics tend to take the entire Internet hostage, their lifetime isn’t really that impressive. These topics explode quickly and then they just die. While they’re often great for raising awareness, in most cases – these types of topics rarely generate long term traffic.
Newsjacking isn’t really a great option, if your goal is to create tons of backlinks for your website. The best way you can make trending topics work for you is add value through insight or practical tips.
For example, let’s focus on the hype around the upcoming Justice League movie. Apart from the plot, costumes, and production values, there’s a lot of buzz about the main villain in the film. Only hardcore comic book geeks know who Steppenwolf is. The guys at Cinemablend know that, so they made it their top priority to produce an article ASAP, called “5 Big Things To Know About Steppenwolf, The Justice League’s Possible Villain”.
This particular post created 85 links for them, which, when you really sit down and think about it, is a pretty decent number of backlinks:
Combining practical, informative and valuable insights with a trending topic will always give you a proper chance to win big. Always do your best to bring additional value to the topic, and not just blindly follow trends. Make your work stand out. Put in a little extra effort, and you’ll be rewarded with at least a bundle of new links to your website.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope it has helped you understand what you need to do in order to generate tons of links and traffic to your domain via content. If you have anything to add or ask about this particular topic – feel free to write your thoughts in the comment section below and I’ll do everything in my power to get back to you ASAP!
That’s it for now,
See you again soon,
Rad @ Four Dots.